Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Interactive Map of Russian Religious Communities


Interfax-Religion Presents the First Interactive Map of Russian Religious Communities

Moscow, 8 December 2009, Interfax – The Interfax-Religion website and Moscow State Linguistic University jointly launch the first interactive map of all Russian religious communities.

“This map is unique not only for Russia, but for the whole world, it contains information about 25 thousand religious organizations working in our country, their exact names and addresses,” its author and the University’s associate professor Roman Silantyev said on Tuesday presenting the project in the Interfax central office in Moscow.

According to him, the open access map contains information only about Russian traditional religions namely about Orthodox communities, Muslims, Jews and Buddhist. It is planned to insert over five thousand pictures to the map database.

Access to the map is possible exclusively from the Interfax-Religion main page. Last versions of Internet browses, Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, are required to use the map.

As Evgeny Filatov, expert-cartographer and the HitRoad Project commercial director, said at the press conference, the map interface allows “any kind of sorting” of religious organizations, for example, it can display only Orthodox monasteries or Muslim educational establishments. Thus, the interactive map enables to find an optimal route to any of the churches. “Any visitor can guess where he is at the moment and form a pilgrimage route,” Filatov said.

In future, it will be possible to integrate the map in personal navigation devices.

According to Silantyev, the map is devoted to the memory of Academician Pavel Puchkov, an outstanding Russian scientist and founder of confessional cartography.

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Followers of traditional religions make 95 percent of believers in Russia, authors of interactive religious communities map say

Moscow, December 9, Interfax - At least 95 percent of all believers in Russia are members of traditional religious organizations.

Developers of the first interactive map of Russian religious communities arrived at such a conclusion after studying all public information sources, especially data on religious organizations registered in the Russian Federation.

"Russia's traditional religions enhance their presence in society and comparative analysis of data on registered religious communities from 2004 to 2009 proves it. I suppose the process will develop," Roman Silantyev, the map author and Moscow State Linguistic University associate professor said on the project's presentation in the Interfax central office in Moscow.

According to him, 23 thousand religious organizations work in Russia today enjoying the status of a legal entity. The Russian Orthodox Church has the best dynamics of growth as the share of its parishes and organizations in total amount of religious communities has increased from 53,2 percent to 55,1 percent.

The second place belongs to Muslims as their share has grown from 16,3 percent to 17,1 percent. Share of Buddhist, Jewish, Charismatic and Pagan communities has not changed and is 0,8 percent, 1,3 percent, 7,2 percent and 0,1 percent correspondingly. Total share of all four religions traditional for Russia, which are Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, equals to 75 percent while the share of their believers totals to 95 percent, thus making them dominate in the religion field.

"New religious movements such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Moonists, Mormons have demonstrated a dramatic drop as their share has reduced from 5,8 to 3,1 percent, Silantyev said. Share of Catholics and Old Rite believers has slightly decreased and made 1 percent and 1,2 percent correspondingly.
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